Acid mine water mainly originates from the oxidation of pyrite and other sulphidic materials, which represents an environmental problem in many countries today. Acid mine water is recognized as one of the more serious environmental problems in the mining industry, its causes, prediction and treatment have become the focus of a number of research initiatives commissioned by governments, the mining industry, universities and research establishments, with additional inputs from the general public and environmental groups. The pH value of acid mine water usually ranges around 3, it often contains high concentrations of metals such as Iron, Manganese, Aluminum and anions as well as increased concentrations of Zinc, Cobalt, Lead, Chromium, and Copper.
The impact of such water is mainly connected to the majority of water organisms being adapted to neutral water, and low pH values are thus deadly. As each locality affected by mining contains mine water characteristic for its composition and chemism, effective methods must be used not only to increase pH to be neutral but also to eliminate harmful ions and suspended solids. Mine water treatment must result in such water quality indicators that sustain life conditions for organisms in rivers as well as which shall make possible supplementary uses of water world-wide.
Neutralization of mine water by various agents, such as calcium hydroxide, calcium carbonate, caustic soda, has been studied in numerous localities with acid mine water incident. Traditionally, lime is used for the neutralization of acidic wastes. Finely ground calcium carbonate can be used as a substitute for lime in neutralizing acid mine water or mixing it with calcium hydroxide may be equally effective but less expensive. Calcium carbonate in the neutralization of acid mine water may be preferred to calcium hydroxide or caustic soda due to its lower costs, production of higher density sludge easier to drain, more effective control of pH and lower probability of an overdose. Nevertheless, compared with calcium hydroxide, calcium carbonate manifests longer reaction time.
Mussel Shells are one of the household garbage that affixes the long trails of unwanted wastes that threaten the environment. Mussel Shells can be used as a pH buffer which maintains the pH of a substance, either by increasing or decreasing the pH, because of its high CaCo3 (calcium carbonate) content. The crushed mussel shells can be an alternative handy pH buffer that will not come from the markets and their money, but now coming from their own trash cans and garbage bins. PH buffering is a need now, especially because the society is facing a big problem wherein the environment is suffering from severe contamination. PH buffers play a great role in maintaining the ecology’s balance in the presence of hydrogen even if this pH buffer only contributes a small part in our society.